The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

New Starbucks holiday cup spreads more than joy

3 min read
By ALEX SPENCE Now that Halloween has passed, the Christmas frenzy has begun. Starting on Nov. 1, stores broke out candy canes and stockings and every other TV commercial reminds us that the “25 Days of Christmas” special is quickly approaching.

Jenna Mullins | Pinterest


Now that Halloween has passed, the Christmas frenzy has begun. Starting on Nov. 1, stores broke out candy canes and stockings and every other TV commercial reminds us that the “25 Days of Christmas” special is quickly approaching.

Everywhere we turn from now until Dec. 26 all we will see is Frosty, Rudolph and loads of holiday spirit. But a new controversy has arisen this year that has allowed some individuals to lose theirs.

Each year Starbucks spreads the holiday joy by decorating their coffee cups with seasonal decorations. In the past, the cups have displayed scenes such as snowflakes, Christmas tree  ornaments or characters such as snowmen and reindeer.

However, this year Starbucks shook things up and chose a simple red cup to celebrate. “In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups’ design,” said Starbucks vice president of design and content Jeffery Fields on the company’s website. “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

This change has caused uproar on social media sites. Joshua Feurstein, an evangelist from Arizona recently posted a video calling out the coffee franchise for allegedly removing Christmas from their seasonal cups.

“Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red,” Feurstein said.

After this video was posted, many more joined in voicing their dislike for the new design,or lack thereof. Twitter got especially heated with hashtags such as #MerryChristmasStarbucks and #BoycottStarbucks beginning to trend.

First of all, I do not believe Starbucks has ever promoted any specific religious holidays. By placing a snowman or reindeer on a coffee cup they are not exactly promoting Christianity, but simply holiday spirit.

I think it would be fair to say that individuals who have religious beliefs outside of Christianity might also enjoy building snowmen or watching “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” As a Christian myself, I do not quite understand why it is so detrimental to Christmas that Frosty is missing from my coffee cup. Can we not just as easily say Merry Christmas to one another rather than let our coffee cups do the talking?

I for one find it perfectly dignified that they wish to respect all religions. So Starbucks stopped portraying designs associated with Christmas, so what? If, as a Christian, that detracts from your holiday spirit, perhaps you should reevaluate what the holiday really means to you. While many people were busy skewering Starbucks for their lack of Christmas association, they seem to have missed one little detail, the 2015 release of the Christmas coffee blend.

And hold onto your hats everyone, if the red coffee cups offended you just wait until you see the color of the Christmas blend. That’s right, it is also red.

But never mind that Starbucks printed the word Christmas in bold on the front of their coffee blends, it is still the lack luster cups that turned many into Scrooge. Musician Michael Castro recently went to twitter about the controversy, saying, “As a Christian I can tell you that the color of Starbucks cups have nothing to do with Jesus, the gospel or Christianity. They are cups.”

While I commend Feurstein for his passion and dedication to God, perhaps attacking the color red was not the best way to promote Christmas. As both a Christian and an avid coffee drinker I am not planning on dropping my Caramel Lattes just yet.

You never know, even Jesus might have enjoyed a Peppermint Mocha or two.

1 thought on “New Starbucks holiday cup spreads more than joy

  1. I hope that Mr. Michael Castro will not forget what Christmas revolves around: not just the Birth of Christ (which is His birthday, after all), but, more importantly, the Son of Man making His advent to take upon Himself the sins of this world. That’s why we Christians celebrate his coming, and ponder soberly on the God made Flesh will will come to redeem us. Christmas is a pre-figurement of what Christ must undergo, in His Passion and Death on the Cross, to reconcile all of creation unto Himself. Hence, I think, the color of red has much to do with spirit of Christmas, in light of Christian teaching.

    We Christians must never forget that.

    With that, I shall leave you the words of the translated song from Martin Luther, “From Heaven Above”, lest we Christians forget what Christmas is about:

    From heaven above to earth I come
    To bear good news to every home;
    Glad tidings of great joy I bring
    Whereof I now will say and sing:

    To you this night is born a child
    Of Mary, chosen mother mild;
    This little child, of lowly birth,
    Shall be the joy of all your earth.

    ‘Tis Christ our God who far on high
    Hath heard your sad and bitter cry;
    Himself will your Salvation be,
    Himself from sin will make you free.

    He brings those blessings, long ago
    Prepared by God for all below;
    Henceforth His kingdom open stands
    To you, as to the angel bands.

    These are the tokens ye shall mark,
    The swaddling clothes and manger dark;
    There shall ye find the young child laid,
    By whom the heavens and earth were made.

    Now let us all with gladsome cheer
    Follow the shepherds, and draw near
    To see this wondrous gift of God
    Who hath His only Son bestowed.

    Ah! dearest Jesus, Holy Child,
    Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
    Within my heart, that it may be
    A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

    Glory to God in highest heaven,
    Who unto man His Son hath given!
    While angels sing with pious mirth
    A glad New Year to all the earth.

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